BOSTON – The Massachusetts Senate has reported out a Transportation Bond Bill that will provide long term stability to Chapter 90 funding for municipalities while saving Massachusetts taxpayers $518 million. The bill, which came through the Senate Committee on Bonding, Capital Expenditures, and State Assets chaired by Senator Brian A. Joyce, will authorize $1.5 billion for Commonwealth cities and towns over the next five years for local road and bridge projects, enact reasonable reforms, and decrease the borrowing period from 30 years to 20 years. Additionally, the legislation contains $21.4 million in potential projects for the town of Milton.
“This bill will give our municipalities the long term stability and flexibility they need to undertake critical improvements and repairs to local roads and bridges,” said Joyce. “The bill also de-authorizes $2 billion in stalled bonding projects and carefully considers the state’s debt cap and the impact of investments on future generations.”
The bill authorizes transportation and infrastructure spending over the next five years. Some of the major projects included in the Senate version of the bill are the MBTA Green Line extension, the expansion of South Station, a knowledge corridor rail line in Western Mass, the North-South Rail Link, the South Coast Rail project, and creating a committee to oversee mitigation for affected communities should the South Coast Rail project commence.
State assistance for road and bridge projects in Milton would equal $4.66 million over the next five years, which is a 50 percent increase over the current year’s appropriation. The legislation also contains a $21.4 million spending authorization for the town of Milton. The authorizations are broken down as:
- $10 million for design, road reconstruction, aesthetic improvements, signalization, sidewalks, and safety improvements on Granite Avenue from Adams Street (East Milton Square) to the Boston line;
- $10 million for completion of road, sidewalk, aesthetic improvements, and pedestrian and bicyclist safety measures to the Blue Hills Parkway;
- $1.25 million for drainage, roadway improvements, design, road reconstruction, aesthetic improvements, signalization, sidewalks, and safety improvements for Route 28 from Randolph Avenue to Blue Hills Parkway, and;
- $200,000 for the implementation of additional opticon monitors on intersections and fire trucks.
The bill now heads into a conference committee composed of members of the House and Senate. The approval of the committee and Governor will be needed before any funds are distributed to towns.